US5808424A - Illuminated power line marker - Google Patents

Illuminated power line marker Download PDF

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Publication number
US5808424A
US5808424A US08568782 US56878295A US5808424A US 5808424 A US5808424 A US 5808424A US 08568782 US08568782 US 08568782 US 56878295 A US56878295 A US 56878295A US 5808424 A US5808424 A US 5808424A
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Prior art keywords
line
power
body
tube
marker
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Expired - Fee Related
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US08568782
Inventor
George M. Osgood
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Osgood; George M.
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02GINSTALLATION OF ELECTRIC CABLES OR LINES, OR OF COMBINED OPTICAL AND ELECTRIC CABLES OR LINES
    • H02G7/00Overhead installations of electric lines or cables
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01JELECTRIC DISCHARGE TUBES OR DISCHARGE LAMPS
    • H01J65/00Lamps without any electrode inside the vessel; Lamps with at least one main electrode outside the vessel
    • H01J65/04Lamps in which a gas filling is excited to luminesce by an external electromagnetic field or by external corpuscular radiation, e.g. for indicating plasma display panels
    • H01J65/042Lamps in which a gas filling is excited to luminesce by an external electromagnetic field or by external corpuscular radiation, e.g. for indicating plasma display panels by an external electromagnetic field
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21WINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASSES F21K, F21L, F21S and F21V, RELATING TO USES OR APPLICATIONS OF LIGHTING DEVICES OR SYSTEMS
    • F21W2111/00Use or application of lighting devices or systems for signalling, marking or indicating, not provided for in codes F21W2102/00 – F21W2107/00

Abstract

A line marker including hollow shell halves assembled about an elevated line and luminous tubes mounted on the shell halves illuminated by the electric field extending about the power line and without electrical connection with the power line itself.

Description

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to what are referred to herein as line markers. More particularly, the invention concerns a marker of a type that is mounted on a suspended line, such as a power line, and which, when in operative position, provides a visually discernible body readily seen by pilots operating aircraft within the vicinity of the line thus to avoid possible collision.

Power lines typically are suspended from spaced towers and in certain instances, as when a line extends across a canyon or a river or the like, may have substantial elevation over the ground, with the towers supporting them being widely spaced. Because of these and other factors affecting visibility, the lines represent a hazardous condition for aircraft. To reduce the hazard involved, so-called line markers have been devised which are suspended by the power line to be carried by it, and which, by reason of their size, color, etc., provide a conspicuous marking alerting aircraft operators to the presence of the line.

A general object of this invention is to provide an improved line marker which provides a means providing illumination of the marker whereby the marker becomes more readily discernible, particularly at night.

As already indicated, a marker in operative position frequently is in a position suspended well above the ground, and such a marker is installed by a workman occupying a platform suspended in the air, as from a helicopter. Because of the operating conditions involved, any lighting system provided for a marker should be highly reliable, and operable over an extended period of time, without supervision or maintenance. Included within the objects of the invention, therefore, is to provide a power line marker for suspension on a high voltage transmission line where the means for illuminating the marker takes the form of a luminous tube containing an ionizable material which is ignited by the field surrounding a power transmission line to produce a light visually discernable by pilots, etc. Illumination is obtained without the need of batteries or other storage systems for electrical power, obviously contributing to longevity and maintenance-free operation.

In the marker contemplated, a body is provided which is adapted to be mounted on the power line. A luminous tube containing ionizable material ignited by the electric field surrounding the line is disposed adjacent the body with the body and tube together providing the visually distinctive marker.

The marker contemplated need not be provided with any direct electrical connection of a luminous tube with the power line itself. The contents of the tube produces illumination with ionization and illumination of the tube's contents produced by the field around the line.

These and various other objects and advantages are obtained by the invention, which described herein below in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a marker as contemplated according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view, somewhat enlarged, taken generally along the line 2--2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view, with portions broken away, illustrating a modification of the invention; and

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view, somewhat enlarged, taken generally along the line 4--4 in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Describing an embodiment of the invention, and referring initially to FIGS. 1 and 2, a marker as contemplated includes a body 10 shown detachably mounted on a power line, indicated at 12. Multiple elongate luminous tubes, shown at 14, 16, 18 and 20, are mounted in a position supported against the exterior surface of body 10 and supported by the body in spaced relation to power line 12.

Body 10 has a generally spherical configuration or outline. In the form of the invention illustrated in FIG. 1, where the tubes are supported on the exterior of the body, the body may be made of an opaque suitable plastic material, and have an orange or other distinctive color whereby it is rendered readily visible. Anchoring the body in place on the power line are wire strands 26 which extend out from opposite sides of the body and are twisted in generally spiral fashion about the power line. These wire strands have inner ends (not shown) secured in a suitable manner to the interior of the body 10.

Body 10 is a hollow shell made up of shell halves 10a, 10b suitably secured together as with fasteners 28. The shell halves are brought together and assembled together on opposite sides of a power line which extends through the body between the halves. A marker body of the type herein described suitably secured to a power line is more fully described in prior issued U.S. Pat. No. 4,885,835, issuing Dec. 12, 1989.

Each luminous tube comprises a vacuum-tight glass tube which has within it a small amount of a rare gas. A common tube of this description is the so-called neon tube commonly found in providing the lighting in a neon sign. Each tube extends as a continuous loop about a portion of the exterior of body 10. A mounting for each tube on the exterior of the body is provided by multiple brackets 30, each joined in a suitable manner to a shell half and having appropriately secured thereto a portion of the neon tube which it supports.

Each of the neon tubes, i.e., luminous tubes 14-22, may be constructed in a manner which is conventional for neon tubing found in lighting applications. Describing a specific construction, each tube included a glass body of approximately 1/2-inch OD which in manufacture of the neon tube is evacuated, then to have introduced to its interior a small amount of neon gas, for example gas at a pressure of 10 microns of mercury. The tube is shaped to extend in a circular course with opposite closed ends lined directly adjacent each other. These ends may be connected together as with covering 32.

The usual neon tube is provided with a metal terminal or electrode at each of its opposite ends, and these electrodes in a neon sign are electrically joined to opposite poles of an alternating current supply. In the marker with lighting of the instant invention, there is no electrical connection of electrodes in the neon tube with the power line or other electrical source. The luminous tubes instead are excited and caused to illuminate by the electric field which extends about the power line with the power line carrying current at high voltage. A neon filled tube, therefore, with no electrodes can be used, or if electrodes are present these are merely taped off when opposite ends are brought together with wrapping 32.

With the luminous tube devoid of internal electrode structure connected to the power line, and with the inert gas within the tube being excited instead by the electric field which extends about the power line, mounting of the marker in proper position on the line is greatly simplified, with there being no need to produce any electrical connections. Further, problems of inadvertent shorting are eliminated such as might be caused by moisture conditions, or dust conditions, where the marker is employed.

A power line marker as just described may be used with power lines carrying alternating current at voltages within the range of about 40 kilovolts to 150 kilovolts. When installed on such a power line, the luminous tube described, and without the need for direct electrical connection, are caused to ignite and produce light relying solely on the electric field which extends about the power line with the line carrying electricity at the voltages indicated.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate a modification of the invention wherein the luminous tubes are mounted within the interior of the hollow body, or against the inner sides of the shell halves which make up the body. In this way, the shell halves of the body provide protection for the luminous tubes after the marker has been installed.

Considering FIGS. 3 and 4, the body 40 illustrated is made up of shell halves 40a and 40b. Again these are suitably secured together as with fasteners 28. The power transmission line 12 extends through the hollow body. Mounted against the interior surfaces of shell halves 40a, 40b are luminous tubes 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, and 54. Each tube may be constructed as discussed in connection with tubes 14-22. A tube is supported in place as with brackets 56 suitably anchored against the shell halves and having the luminous tubes carried at their outer extremities.

With the modification of the invention shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a light transmitting, i.e., transparent plastic is preferably employed for the shell halves. Exemplary of such plastic is a clear ABS plastic which has the suitable stiffness and also is substantially transparent.

The tubes in the modification shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 are caused to illuminate by reason of the electric field extending about the power line in the same manner as the tubes discussed in connection with FIGS. 1 and 2. The lighted tubes are readily discernible to viewers of the outside of the marker.

While preferred embodiments have been illustrated and described above, the configuration of the tubes need not be restricted, in all instances, to circle shapes, nor is body 10 in all cases restricted to a general spherical configuration. Thus, the tubes can be configured as helical shapes, or as long spirals, and still operate satisfactorily. The body may take the form of disc-shaped halves with the tubes disposed within the interior of the mating halves. It should be understood, however, with the constructions specifically illustrated, ease of assembly is assured, optimum wind resistance characteristics are obtained, and effective lighting readily observed from all angles results.

While modifications of the invention have been described, it should be obvious that variations and other modifications are possible.

Claims (7)

I claim:
1. A power line marker comprising, in operative position:
a body adapted to be mounted on a power line and said body being visually discernible as a marker, and
a luminous tube mounted on said body containing an ionizable material ignited by the electrical field surrounding a power line to produce a visually discernible light extending along the tube;
said tube being devoid of internal electrode structure electrically connected to the power line.
2. The power line marker of claim 1, wherein said body is a shell with a hollow interior and is adapted to be mounted on a power line with the line passing through the interior of the shell, and the luminous tube is supported within the interior of said shell to be protected by the shell.
3. The power line marker of claim 1, wherein said body has a hollow interior and is of approximately spherical outline, and said tube is supported on said body within the interior of said body.
4. The power line marker of claim 1, wherein said tube extends as a continuous loop adjacent said body.
5. A power line and marker combination comprising:
a hollow body, said body including multiple shell members assembled together with the power line passing through the body, and
a luminous tube extending adjacent and mounted on at least one of said shell members;
said tube being devoid of internal electrode structure electrically connected to the power line.
6. The power line and marker combination of claim 5, wherein the luminous tube extends as a continuous loop.
7. The power line and marker combination of claim 6, wherein the tube is supported on the inside of said body and the tube is discernible through said body.
US08568782 1995-12-07 1995-12-07 Illuminated power line marker Expired - Fee Related US5808424A (en)

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US5808424A true US5808424A (en) 1998-09-15

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050017751A1 (en) * 2003-07-25 2005-01-27 Gunn Colin N. Body capacitance electric field powered device for high voltage lines
US20050275397A1 (en) * 2004-06-15 2005-12-15 Power Measurement, Ltd. Non-intrusive power monitor
US20050288876A1 (en) * 2004-06-25 2005-12-29 Power Measurement, Ltd Method and apparatus for instrument transformer reclassification
US20050288877A1 (en) * 2004-06-25 2005-12-29 Power Measurement Ltd., Method and apparatus for instrument transformer reclassification
US20080246507A1 (en) * 2003-07-25 2008-10-09 Power Measurement Ltd. Body Capacitance Electric Field Powered Device For High Voltage Lines
WO2015077705A1 (en) * 2013-11-22 2015-05-28 Preformed Line Products Power line protection device
RU2556702C1 (en) * 2014-03-06 2015-07-20 Роман Вячеславович Жуков Light marker for overhead transmission lines
WO2015117974A1 (en) * 2014-02-04 2015-08-13 Richard Bergner Elektroarmaturen Gmbh & Co. Kg Signal arrangement for a high-voltage line and method for signal generation on a high-voltage line

Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1976378A (en) * 1929-10-07 1934-10-09 Locke Insulator Corp Aviation marker
US2026770A (en) * 1929-04-20 1936-01-07 Bergman George Wiley Signal
US2095306A (en) * 1932-10-10 1937-10-12 Ohio Brass Co Marker light
US4474133A (en) * 1981-09-14 1984-10-02 Patton & Cooke, Ltd. Aircraft warning marker
US4885835A (en) * 1989-02-02 1989-12-12 Osgood George M Method of assembling line marker into suspended power line
US5001402A (en) * 1986-12-23 1991-03-19 Milton Richard M Illuminated aerial marker
US5208577A (en) * 1991-06-20 1993-05-04 Construcoes Electricas Eltec S.A. Marker light arrangement for power lines
US5361018A (en) * 1993-08-09 1994-11-01 Milton Richard M Intermediate voltage cable marker with enhanced conspicuity
US5594303A (en) * 1995-03-09 1997-01-14 Fusion Lighting, Inc. Apparatus for exciting an electrodeless lamp with an increasing electric field intensity

Patent Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2026770A (en) * 1929-04-20 1936-01-07 Bergman George Wiley Signal
US1976378A (en) * 1929-10-07 1934-10-09 Locke Insulator Corp Aviation marker
US2095306A (en) * 1932-10-10 1937-10-12 Ohio Brass Co Marker light
US4474133A (en) * 1981-09-14 1984-10-02 Patton & Cooke, Ltd. Aircraft warning marker
US5001402A (en) * 1986-12-23 1991-03-19 Milton Richard M Illuminated aerial marker
US4885835A (en) * 1989-02-02 1989-12-12 Osgood George M Method of assembling line marker into suspended power line
US5208577A (en) * 1991-06-20 1993-05-04 Construcoes Electricas Eltec S.A. Marker light arrangement for power lines
US5361018A (en) * 1993-08-09 1994-11-01 Milton Richard M Intermediate voltage cable marker with enhanced conspicuity
US5594303A (en) * 1995-03-09 1997-01-14 Fusion Lighting, Inc. Apparatus for exciting an electrodeless lamp with an increasing electric field intensity

Non-Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
American Electricians Handbook, pp. 68 71, 262 265, 1376 1387, and 1402 1405. *
American Electricians' Handbook, pp. 68-71, 262-265, 1376-1387, and 1402-1405.

Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050017751A1 (en) * 2003-07-25 2005-01-27 Gunn Colin N. Body capacitance electric field powered device for high voltage lines
US20080246507A1 (en) * 2003-07-25 2008-10-09 Power Measurement Ltd. Body Capacitance Electric Field Powered Device For High Voltage Lines
US7902854B2 (en) 2003-07-25 2011-03-08 Power Measurement, Ltd. Body capacitance electric field powered device for high voltage lines
US7282944B2 (en) 2003-07-25 2007-10-16 Power Measurement, Ltd. Body capacitance electric field powered device for high voltage lines
US7265533B2 (en) 2004-06-15 2007-09-04 Power Measurement Ltd. Non-intrusive power monitor
US20050275397A1 (en) * 2004-06-15 2005-12-15 Power Measurement, Ltd. Non-intrusive power monitor
US20050288877A1 (en) * 2004-06-25 2005-12-29 Power Measurement Ltd., Method and apparatus for instrument transformer reclassification
US7337080B2 (en) 2004-06-25 2008-02-26 Power Measurement, Ltd. Method and apparatus for instrument transformer reclassification
US20050288876A1 (en) * 2004-06-25 2005-12-29 Power Measurement, Ltd Method and apparatus for instrument transformer reclassification
WO2015077705A1 (en) * 2013-11-22 2015-05-28 Preformed Line Products Power line protection device
WO2015117974A1 (en) * 2014-02-04 2015-08-13 Richard Bergner Elektroarmaturen Gmbh & Co. Kg Signal arrangement for a high-voltage line and method for signal generation on a high-voltage line
RU2556702C1 (en) * 2014-03-06 2015-07-20 Роман Вячеславович Жуков Light marker for overhead transmission lines

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Effective date: 20020915